American House resident Marjorie Crane, 91, places an ornament on a Christmas tree Thursday afternoon after making a $5 general donation to someone in need.
By CHRIS JACKETT
HEIGHTS – Dozens of seniors gathered Thursday at the American House Senior Living Community evening to start the holiday season and the community’s second annual Holiday Hope for Seniors campaign.
The special three-hour event began with a tree-lighting ceremony. Several paper ornaments adorned the tree, each representing a suggested donation of money toward the general program or a specific need. Paper ornaments removed from the tree are replaced with an actual silver or gold ornament.
“Our hope is all the paper bulbs come off the tree and are replaced with silver and gold bulbs,” said Elizabeth Garr, executive director of the Dearborn Heights American House. “There’s no shopping, just your donations. It’s to help seniors in the community.”
The Holiday Hope for Seniors campaign intends to provide food, soap, toothpaste, pillows, blankets and small gifts for local seniors in need. With 27 American House locations throughout southeastern Michigan, hundreds of seniors are expected to benefit during the next several weeks.
“It’s wonderful,” said Alfred Elias, 95, the first Heights resident to grab a paper ornament and make a donation for a $10 pair of gloves. “I think this is wonderful. It’s a good cause.”
Elias and Marjorie Crane, 91, who also donated a few dollars for general gifts, said they’d donate again in the future as long as the program continued.
“The economic downturn has been hard on everybody, seniors included,” said Bob Gillette, founder of American House Senior Living Communities, in a statement. “With our Holiday Hope for Seniors campaign, our goal is to raise $75,000 to help those seniors who need it the most this holiday season.”
With assistance and sponsorships from Lighthouse of Oakland County, the American House Foundation, Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology, Tenuta’s Food Lane, PROforma, The Medical Team, Henry Ford Health System, Spectrum Home Care and National Wholesale Printing Corp., as well as local patrons and private donors, Holiday Hope holds a lot of promise for seniors during the upcoming holiday season.
“Giving trees” are located at every American House community, along with select senior centers and local stores throughout southeast Michigan.
For more information on Holiday Hope for Seniors call (248) 203-1800 or go to www.americanhouse.com.
(Contact Chris Jackett at [email protected])